Designing a dramatically detailed home that would match the beauty of a mountainous Breckenridge, Colorado, setting was the goal of Marty and Jeanne. The couple found ten acres of water frontage on the Blue River — the cold, clean, and fast-flowing waters brings in trout fishermen from around the world.

Working with the Colorado Department of Wildlife, they improved their part of the river for trout by carefully digging deep pools and placing several hundred large boulders in the stream to create protected areas for the fish. Marty and Jeanne added 300 native trees to the property as well.

In such a rugged, serene setting, a natural-materials home was a no-brainer for the couple.

“We felt that using log and stone was an intrinsic material choice for building,” says Marty. “The water, trees, and mountains were inspirational for the exterior’s look. The interior was designed on a lodge theme with a classic European influence. We also wanted to incorporate granite, iron, copper, and various woods to provide something for the senses.”

The couple worked with Bobby Craig of Arapaho Architects to tuck the home along river and integrate the natural materials into every part of the design. Easy access to the river and stunning views were incorporated with windows, doors, patios and balconies.

The Old World interior design elements, including arches, pillars, curves, and frescoes, are complemented with a muted color palette of terra cotta, celadon green, and umbrian brown. 

“Our interior designer has worked with us before and knew our tastes,” Jeanne says. “We enjoy fine craftsmanship and materials and also appreciate the casual mountain feel. The ‘mountain elegance’ character of the home really fits our lifestyle.”

The grand entrance leads into the spacious living room surrounded by polished log pillars and heavy wood trusses. Views of the Blue River can be seen at every angle in this space. A 14-foot-wide fireplace made of rough moss rock includes a recessed space above the firebox for hanging a trophy mount.

The tailored dining room was built around the dark-stained and distressed custom dining table. Although elegant in design, the room is detailed with a few country elements found in European homes. Accents here include a Bavarian metal chandelier of carved stags holding crystal lights and a recessed fresco hand-painted by a local artisan.

A requirement of the home design was the ability to expand or contract the living space according to the number of people in the home. “They wanted the home to be large enough to entertain, but not too big as to feel empty when it was just the two of them,” says architect Bobby Craig. “One solution was to create a separate smaller living space just off the kitchen that would become their ‘hearth room.’”

More about this home appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Custom Wood Homes.